Press Release
Press Release · Thursday, January 13, 2000

Press Release
January 13, 2000
Press Opportunity: "Treasures of Congress" Exhibition at the National Archives

Washington, DC. . . On Friday, January 21, 2000, the National Archives opens a new exhibition in the Rotunda, entitled "Treasures of Congress," celebrating the 200th anniversary of the move of the Congress to Washington, DC. The exhibition will be on display through February 19, 2001.


National Archives press preview of "Treasures of Congress". For this event only, members of the media may photograph, videotape and view the following four original documents and accompanying visual materials from the exhibition, before their enclosure in the protective glass display cases:

  • The Senate Resolution "appointing the time and place for the next meeting of Congress," May 1800. Before adjourning in Philadelphia, the first Congress of the United States set the time and place for its next meeting-the City of Washington, on the third Monday in November 1800.

  • John Quincy Adams' handwritten draft of his resolution against the "Gag rule" which automatically tabled any discussion of the issue of slavery on the floor of the House. May 1836.

  • The first and last pages of President Roosevelt's original reading copy of the Day of Infamy speech, December 7, 1941.

  • The annotated, engrossed copy of HR 7152, which would become the landmark Civil Rights Bill, 1964. The press may view the remainder of the newly-installed treasures featured in the 26 cases flanking the Charters of Freedom in the National Archives Rotunda. Among those documents are: the first Journal of the U.S. Senate recording the 1789 electoral vote of George Washington as President of the United States; a 1789 draft of the Bill of Rights; and the credentials of two pathbreaking members of Congress--Hiram Revels, 1870 of Mississippi, the first African- American Senator and Jeanette Rankin, 1916 of Montana, the first female member of the House of Representatives.
8:30 A.M. to 9:30 A.M. on Thursday, January 20, 2000. (8 A.M. - 8:30 A.M coffee and pastries will be served.)

The Rotunda, National Archives Building, Pennsylvania Avenue between 7th and 9th Streets, NW, Washington, DC. Use the Pennsylvania Avenue Entrance.


Curator Bruce Bustard will offer an overview of the exhibition and briefly explain the selected items. Director of the Center for Legislative Archives Michael Gillette will describe the Center (where these documents are stored) and offer a behind-the-scenes tour, following the preview. Senate Historian Dr. Richard A. Baker will discuss the significance of the records of Congress.

PHOTOGRAPHERS AND CAMERA CREWS: Limited artificial light may be used. For more details, call the Public Affairs staff at 301-837-1700.

For additional PRESS information, please contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at (301) 837-1700 or by e-mail.


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